Consumer preference for cooking banana attributes in Uganda: a case of urban consumers in Central Uganda
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The East African highland cooking bananas are one of the most consumed food crops in Uganda. The East African High land cooking bananas have received attention mainly in the aspect of developing new improved varieties to counteract the devastating effects of pests and diseases. The National Agricultural Research Organization together with its partners has developed new cooking banana varieties. However, ensuring the sustainability and adoption of these interventions could be improved with a greater understanding of the end-user preferences. The purpose of this study was to contribute to the understanding of end-user preferences for cooking banana attributes specifically among urban consumers. The specific objectives of this study were: 1. To characterize urban consumer preference for cooking banana attributes. 2. Identify the deviation between urban consumers’ expected and actual cooking banana quality attributes. 3. Examine factors that influence urban consumer preference for cooking banana attributes. Data was collected from selected households in areas of Kampala and Wakiso in the Central region, using a pretested structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, the SERVQUAL model and a multinomial logit model were used in data analysis. Results indicate that urban consumers prefer cooking bananas with big fingers, little sap content, soft food texture, and deep yellow colour on cooking. The study results highlight the role played by physical, processing, and consumption-cooking banana attributes together with consumer characteristics on preference for cooking banana attributes. The multinomial logit model results highlight that frequency of consumption, the banana form usually purchased and perceived quality of food, as the important factors influencing consumers’ choice of cooking bananas. The study results inform breeders on which important attributes to prioritize in the improvement of cooking banana varieties and policy implications concerning participatory varietal improvements for agricultural technologies.